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For other uses, see Fix-up (disambiguation).
This article is about a literary form. For the real estate concept, see Fixer-upper. For "fixup" in the context of executable formats on computers, see Relocation (computer science).

A fix-up (or fixup) is a novel created from several short fiction stories that may or may not have been initially related or previously published. The stories may be edited for consistency, and sometimes new connecting material, such as a frame story or other interstitial narration, is written for the new work. The term was coined by the science fiction writer A. E. van Vogt,[1] who published several fix-ups of his own, including The Voyage of the Space Beagle, but the concept (if not the term) exists outside of science fiction. The use of the term in science fiction criticism was popularised by the first (1979) edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by Peter Nicholls, which credited Van Vogt with the creation of the term.[2] The name comes from the modifications that the author needs to make in the original texts to make them fit together as though they were a novel. Foreshadowing of events from the later stories may be jammed into an early chapter of the fix-up, and character development may be interleaved throughout the book. Contradictions and inconsistencies between episodes are usually worked out.

Some fix-ups in their final form are more of a short story cycle or episodic novel rather than a traditional novel with a single main plotline. This is true of both Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles and Isaac Asimov's I, Robot both of which read as a series of short stories with shared plot threads and characters but each of which still acts as a self-contained story. By contrast, A.E. Van Vogt's The Weapon Shops of Isher is structured like a continuous novel although it incorporates material from three previous Van Vogt short stories.

Fix-ups first became an accepted practice in the 1950s, when science fiction and fantasy were making the transition from being published mostly in pulp magazines, to being published mostly in book form. Many authors went through old stories, creating new manuscripts and selling them to book publishers.

Examples of fix-ups[edit]

Science fiction and fantasy[edit]

Other genres[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Weinberg, Robert. "A. E. van Vogt: The Weinberg Interview (1980)". Isaac Walwyn. Retrieved 2016-12-27. 
  2. ^ Nicholls, Peter; John Clute (1999). New Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. London: Orbit. p. 432. ISBN 1-85723-897-4.